Not so long ago Moscow was the iron heart of a mysterious nation under lock and key. Outsiders were limited to classic Cold War rhetoric and images on TV, usually featuring grey buildings, people waiting in lines for staples like bread and tanks plying the Kremlin’s laneways showcasing military might. Fast-forward a couple decades and Russia’s capital is bustling with energy, firmly capitalist, home to Europe’s tallest building and remarkably friendly.
Yet it’s hard not to think about Moscow’s communist past as you explore this city of 15-million, as many buildings and monuments still bear images of the famous hammer and sickle or people harvesting crops and hoisting flags in victory. But there’s also a polish, shine, new coat of paint, both literally and figuratively, that brings the city’s overall mood in to the modern global community and era. This is a city well worth devoting a few days to discovering.